PL: Zupa Truskawkowa z Makaronem
Growing up in 90’s Warsaw, there were three Polish dishes that were constantly served at the school canteen, which I hated to the bone.
They were, in the following order: gołąbki with super-thin tomato sauce, sztuka mięsa (boiled beef steak) and … zupa truskawkowa (Polish-style strawberry soup).
Strawberry Soup: a Controversial Choice?
Just to be clear, I wasn’t the only one. Fruit soups were (and still are) always polarising. You either loved & devoured them happily or dreaded them completely.
For many, “Fruit” plus “Soup” just didn’t seem to click together. If you had a chance to try a Hot Strawberry Soup in your childhood – you know exactly what I mean. There is no middle ground here, just love OR hate 😄.
Sometime in the early Noughties (2000’s), strawberry soup fell off the radar and off our menus. Foreign and exotic flavours have taken over Polish taste buds.
So I happily steered clear from all fruit soups — until, that is, I bought way too many strawberries this week.
My Fruity Attempt
Normally I don’t over-shop, but… the strawberry season is sadly coming to an end. It would be a shame not to make the most of these last days. Since my freezer is out of order and my basement is full – the only option was to get creative.
Taste buds change as we age. Foods I once despised (gołąbki for instance), I readily gobble up now whenever I get a chance. Why not give this strawberry soup another shot? Maybe it would become a new favourite?
Methods & Variants
I looked through multiple cookbooks and online resources in search of a cool recipe to recreate at home.
Here’s what I found out:
- Some methods advocate blending strawberries (or part of them) into a purée.
To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on trying this idea. This technique reminds me more of a smoothie rather than a soup. But if you’re using frozen strawberries, puréeing them makes total sense.
- Other recipes mention adding kisiel, meaning: thickening the soup with potato starch or simply adding an instant strawberry kisiel-mix.
- Many recommend using cream (or thick yoghurt) and blending it in, or serving a clear soup with a generous dollop of cream in the middle.
- Strawberry soup is served hot or cold / chilled, often with egg noodles in various shapes, cooked millet or choux pastry balls.
Enough Research. Is It Any Good?
In the end, I went for a clear Strawberry Soup, without any added cream. Instead, I served some thick yoghurt separately, so that everyone had an option to drop in a dollop to their plate.
Honestly, I was a bit hesitant to try it at first. I guess the childhood memories are still affecting me 😒. Luckily, the fruity aroma was sooo inviting, that it gradually drew me in.
The first spoonful was surprising. The flavours were very different from what I remembered. The soup was… actually quite lovely. Very vibrant and satisfying. Egg noodles compliment the dish nicely. A touch of potato starch adds some interesting texture.
The heat heightened the sweet flavour of the strawberries. But what really took it over the top is a little pinch of cinnamon. What a game-changer! Give it a go, I promise you won’t regret it.
- 2.2 lb (1 kg) Strawberries
- 4 tbsp Sugar
- 6 cups (1,5 litre) Water
- 1/2 Lemon (juiced)
- 1 tbsp Potato Starch
- 6 oz (170 g) Egg Noodles (cooked, see notes)
- 4 tbsp Cream (12 or 18%)
- Mint Leaves (to serve)
- Wash the strawberries, remove the tops. Place them in a generously-sized pot.
- Add sugar, pour the water in. Ideally it should cover half of the fruit.
- Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the lemon juice.
- Check on the strawberries. If they're very soft already, continue cooking only for a brief minute. If they still hold their shape, continue for another 5 minutes or so.
- In a small bowl, blend the potato starch with a few tablespoons of cold water (blending with a fork will do). Add 4 tbsp of warm liquid from the cooking strawberries, and mix well together until smooth.
- Gradually pour over this mixture into your main pot of soup, stirring continuously. Set aside for a bit ( 5 minutes or so) for the soup to thicken.
- If serving warm: Serve with cooked egg noodles, a dollop of cream and mint leaves.
- If serving chilled or cold: Set aside until it reaches room temperature and then place in the refrigerator until it reached the desired temperature.
- Egg Noodles: 6 oz (170 g) Cooked = 2 oz (roughly 60 g) Dry
- This soup was inspired by various recipes including this one by Ewa Wachowicz.
Save this “Polish Strawberry Soup with Egg Noodles” recipe to your “POLISH SOUPS” Pinterest board! And let’s be friends on Pinterest!